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The Technical Side of Email Marketing & Other Ramblings

Email marketing made me do it, not social media. The dissection of a one day sale.

Good timing, I needed a few new shirts!… Here is another real-life experience that prompted me to purchase something from an email message.

Over this past weekend, I noticed that I really needed a few new shirts. I NEVER shop for myself, probably because I live in a house full of girls (even my dog is female) and I know that I’ll need to save BIGTIME for the teenage years. I wear jeans to work every day so I don’t need a fancy wardrobe. I received an email from Old Navy on Monday morning. This email hit me when I was getting desperate, almost like they knew I needed those shirts. Maybe this is a new kind of personalization where they have a vision of what’s in my closet and how long it’s been there. The email spoke to me – well, it spoke to my wallet. The subject line was clear “30% off TODAY ONLY! Plus, FREE Shipping Every Day!” I got the message on my iPhone so I clicked on the link for “Men” and I was greeted with a VERY mobile friendly catalog of items. In a matter of seconds I found exactly what I was looking for. My only problem is that I’m a hands on kind of guy so I knew that I needed to go to the store if I wanted to purchase these shirts. Lucky for me it wasn’t an online only sale which was also clearly stated in the email. Plus, I knew that my wardrobe couldn’t wait much longer even if it was free shipping , I needed the instant gratification. I left my office a little early and headed over to the mall. On my way over I called the store to find out which entrance they were closest to. This way, I could minimize my time at the mall and avoid my temptations of going to the Apple store, after all I was on a time limit. I was greeted by the woman on the other end who promptly reiterated the“today only” sale which was a nice reinforcement. When I arrived at the store there was plenty of signage both inside and outside the store also focusing on the sale. I quickly found the shirts that I was looking for, tried them on and proceeded to the checkout. The woman at the checkout was friendly and asked me if I had seen the TV Ad after the Superbowl. I told her that I hadn’t but I did receive the email that morning which was what got me in to the store. She was excited about that and commented that she didn’t have to ask me if I wanted to join their mailing list now.


I got to thinking about the message that I received and how it spoke to me and ultimately got me to purchase from them. Thepart about being “Super Cute for Less” didn’t exactly speak to me, but the main message certainly did: “TAKE 30% OFF ANY OLD NAVY PURCHASE*”. The “Super Cute for Less” tagline prompted me to check my preferences for their email communications. I looked back at the email and it was very clearly marked at the bottom. When I got to the preferences page I was surprised with all of the options. I guess I hadn’t chosen any options when I initially signed up which explains the lack of personalization. I chose the categories that interested me and also gave them my Birthday for a “Special gift on your special day!” which sadly I missed out on by only a few weeks. They also have a section for credit card holders to receive bonuses as well as exclusive offers. Lastly they invite you to opt-in to other Gap brands. The one thing I was surprised about was that after submission, I was taken to a thank you page which stated that my preferences would be updated within the next two weeks. Wow, really? Two weeks to update preferences?

My analysis of the message:

It had a lot of images at the top which was balanced with A LOT of filler text mumbo jumbo at the bottom. This probably gave it an equal image to text ratio. It boasted the T.V. spot which was apparently a big deal although I couldn’t find it on the web anywhere. The sale information was very clear with a large button to “shop now.” I wish that they had read my previous article “Highlighting the Promo Codes,” however the promo code for online purchase was also very clearly marked within the message. The colors were bright, vibrant, and appealing. The message also highlighted another ongoing sale in case this sale didn’t appeal to me. Overall, the message was very well done and I didn’tsee room for any major improvements other than to try and use more personalization which again in this case I found out by checking my preferences that I hadn’t provided enough information.

Here is what I learned from my Old Navy experience and about this particular sale:

I wasn’t a fan on Facebook so I missed the post about the sale.
I didn’t follow them on twitter so I missed the tweet about the sale.
I don’t watch Glee so I missed the commercial about the sale.
I am Opt-in to their email list so I did get the email about the sale. DING DING DING!

This shows that they are reaching their audience through all the major channels and doing a good job at promoting the sales and special offers.

Here is what Old Navy accomplished by sending me the email:

I’m now fan on Facebook and I see they have valuable information there.
I’m now following them on twitter (please follow me back @oldnavy) and I see there is valuable information there as well.
No matter what they say or give me, I will NEVER EVER watch Glee!

Overall, my experience from receiving the message, to my phone call, to my visit to the store, to making a purchase and ultimately updating my preferences was excellent. Now that I updated my preferences we will see if they use that information to personalize my upcoming messages. I will include this brand in my research regarding personalization after updating my preferences.

Disclaimer – No Glee fans were injured during the writing or posting of this article! :)


Posted under: Email Marketing